We’ve heard of people holding back information in order to avoid hurting another person’s feelings or, more seriously, to avoid incriminating oneself. These lies of omission obscure the expression of truth. Lies of omission are a common feature in society, but we rarely think of them regarding what we tell ourselves during our internal mental chatter.
You might hold back from expressing a personal truth. There might be a creative urge that isn’t outwardly expressed. Maybe you have a unique point of view regarding a public issue but haven’t refined or defined your message. Perhaps you know that inner truth but don’t have the self-confidence needed to go public with it. For one reason or another you may be holding back from expressing yourself.
The most effective way many of us use to convey an inner truth is through some sort of creative pursuit or finding expression in the arts. The beauty of the arts is that it includes a vast array of means of expression. We have music, literature, the visual arts, architecture, sculpture, and industrial arts. Out of curiosity, we might dabble in one or more of these. It is by such exploration that we stumble upon the art-form or art-forms that enable our self-expression. Exploration leads to discovery.
When I’m out and about in the mall or walking through the business district, I like to people-watch. It’s interesting to see how people present themselves to the public. Do they take care in choosing their garments or do they wear just any old thing? What about their hair? Is it styled, wild, or shaved off? Do they wear makeup or none? Do they saunter, walk quickly, or sprint? What kind of motor vehicle or bicycle is the person using? Is a person alone or with friends or family? Our personal wardrobe, grooming styles and other ways of presentation are important means of self-expression. These aspects communicate an inner truth to the outside world.
A deeper form of self-expression is how one loves another person. People like to think of ideal love as being selfless and unconditional. In my opinion, I don’t think this idealized concept is realistic. To love my partner is to see profound parts of myself in him and I look to celebrate those with him. Who I love is the manifestation of my inner self in another person. Love of a spouse or lover is a celebration of life. Such love is active self-expression. When this love is reciprocated, there is true partnership.
What we often create is what we believe society expects from us. We say and do what authorities or experts tell us we’re supposed to emulate instead of who we really are inside. The key to expressing yourself is to accept who you authentically are and to outwardly project that. Don’t personal lies of omission cause us to withhold self-expression?
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes writer and critic, John Updike. “I seem most instinctively to believe in the human value of creative writing, whether in the form of verse or fiction, as a mode of truth-telling, self-expression and homage to the twin miracles of creation and consciousness.”